MacManus endorses European petition for free vaccine against Covid-19
Following the launch of a Europe wide petition for the free availability to all of a Covid-19 vaccine, Sinn Féin MEP Chris MacManus has encouraged the public and all political parties to get behind the campaign.
“In order to beat this pandemic, it is vitally important that a vaccine or treatment is made freely available to everyone”, said MacManus. “This is a matter of justice, but it is also crucial for public health. Look at the experience with HIV/AIDS, without universal access to medication, you can’t overcome a global epidemic”.
European Commission president Ursula von der Leyen promised that the vaccine would become a universal common good. But that promise was not repeated in the latest European Vaccine Strategy. With the European petition #Right2Cure, the initiators want to put pressure on the European Commission to put its money where its mouth is. In concrete terms, they ask that Europe guarantee that anti-pandemic vaccines and treatments become a matter of general and global interest, freely available to everyone.
The international signature campaign is necessary because there is a very real danger that the vaccine will become the property of private pharmaceuticals companies via patents.
“The corona vaccine is being developed today with billions of Euro of taxpayers’ money. We must not allow private companies, that previously refused to invest in this vaccine, to now take control of the vaccine and decide on price and supply,The pharmaceutical industry bases its prices on what the patient or a country wants to pay. In this way, it maximizes profits for its shareholders. As a result, some vaccines cost a lot of money. And that costs lives. Every day,” warned the Sligo MEP.
MacManus concluded “I am appealing to members of all political parties in Ireland and their supporters to get behind this initiative. This is too important to allow political differences interfere. We must all stand together. Action now will mean saving lives of citizens across the Island.”
The #Right2Cure petition, can be signed here www.right2cure.eu/ie